Benjamin Watanabe - Product Designer in Tokyo

Benjamin Watanabe

I'm a product designer in Tokyo, Japan

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I speak English and Japanese

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About me

I'm a product designer and founder, with many failures and a few small personal successes too.

You might say I'm a "serial entrepreneur." To be honest though, I'm not a big fan of "serial" anything and the label makes me cringe whenever I read it in a Twitter bio. I mention the S.E. label though, because in producing many bootstrapped & funded products I've filled the role of designer, video producer, front end developer, and minimum viable developer.

Some of my favorite projects and people that I've designed and developed with are 50 Cent, Cookpad, TenTen and my current team at 96 Problems.

My Creations

  1. A small Mac app that I wanted to make for my team and I, so we're not exhausted at the end of the day.

    We outlined the experience of designing and developing it with PaintCode here: https://medium.com/a-first-project-with-paintcode/a-first-project-with-paintcode-910660fa1221

    And you can learn about the app here: http://96problems.com/look-up

  2. TenTen

    1 July 2015

    Had a chance to try some of the hard things, co-founding this B2B-2C iBeacons service and managing a multi-platform team developing custom hardware, mobile, and server solutions.

    http://mytenten.com

  3. SmartHolder

    1 July 2015

    After being tired of watching videos with my phone falling flat, I designed this small accessory and lazer cut it at Fab Cafe. Friends started asking for it, so I made more and then decided to see if we could crowdfund it.

    We did a small pre-launch on a Japan... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  4. Boxing Through Moments

    12 August 2015

    I aspire to being a writer, which my boxing aspirations help by giving me a focus. This is a collection of personal short writings on the moments that make up boxing.

    Here's part 1 if you're interested:
    https://medium.com/boxing-through-moments/at-the-start-9e46eb8f82d0

    (photos by: Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko)

  5. First Draft focuses on making it easy to get your ideas out on paper. It’s like writing by hand or on a typewriter, not a text “editor.” That means no deleting and focusing not on the words or word smithing, but on the bigger idea and getting it out.

    First... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  6. A #1DayHack that the team and I made at 96 Problems today to make it easier for you to easily discover if other users are on Medium and what they've written. We really wanted to make something that seamlessly blends into the Twitter interface, while also staying true to Medium's... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  7. link: https://medium.com/@benwtnb/kill-your-ego-like-kanye-de2f972c5e5b

    Just some thoughts on the creative process and getting feedback that I learned from a story told by Aziz Ansari that started out like this:

    You know this one time it was so fascinating. [Kanye] was working on Twisted Fantasy and there’s a guy that comes in he’s... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  8. LongShorts Stories

    2 November
    LongShorts Stories

    Hengtee, Nancy, the team, and I wanted to make LongShorts stories are stories for people going places. We all love stories (📚books, 💬comics, 🎬movies, 🎮games) and misse...

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